Probably at the start of the third century, the archipelago that was made known by the west in the 15th-16th century as yslas de felipinas …
had been under free trade relationships with the hindu-malayan empires in sumatra, indochina, and borneo, and then with the chinese succeeding dynasties.
Shortly after 1400, mohamed or mahoma as god was introduced to the visayas and mindanao islands, and for more than one hundred years the foreign faith was persistently introduced, …
but to no avail, to the inhabitants of luzon who remained loyal to their own ancestors or anitos.
Subsequently, the japanese tried to establish control over northern luzon, although very loosely with the intention of maintaining a trading post at aparri, on the north tip of the island.
European interest in luzon followed with a spanish expedition in the visayas in 1521 under magellan of portugal and named those group of island as ylas de st. lazarus, then islas de felipe …
but with the hidden intention of exploring and taking advantage of the wealth of the island of luzon that was still under the influence of the magdiwang.
But it was not until 1565 that the spaniards established a permanent settlement in panay over all the visayan islands, …
and about five years later, they proceeded to manila with the visayan, mexican and chinese followers to establish control over the katagalugan in luzon under the pretext of friendship.
Late in the 16th century, the military ruler of japan claimed sovereignty over the northern islands of luzon that apparently neither intended nor taken seriously, but the spaniards did pay “tribute” for a short time
to avoid trouble, secure trading rights in japan, and protect the jesuit missionaries there, under consternation of the people of luzon.
Until 1898, despite unsuccessful efforts by the portuguese and dutch and one successful effort by the british (1762-1764) to wrest the Islands from her, spain ruled luzon including the whole of visayas and a part of mindanao.
The impress of these centuries of foreign influence and control gave to the far-east natives a strange mixture of oriental and occidental institutions.
Earlier intrusions and invasions in the south made the muslim customs prevalent particularly in sulu archipelago; from china the impetus to trade and commerce; and from spain came the dominant religion, the roman law, and other features of western civilization.
The united states seized the archipelego from spain in may 1898 after dewey’s mocked victory in manila, that legitimized between them the payment of 20 million dollars to the spaniards in exchange for the islands, including guam and palau which neither one of them actually owned.
Formal title to the islands was documented in the treaty of paris in december of that year, and with the acquisition the americans advanced its frontiers to nearly 7,000 miles across the pacific ocean, …
and provided hostages to a great fortune that they never have fully realized.
This “possession” of the americans endowed them as an asiatic power, with full responsibility for maintaining the peace in the area, an arrangement solely between the americans and spaniards for imperialistic transfer of control.
The government of the islands was placed in the hands of a handpicked magdalo commission and later of a governor general, both appointed by the president of the united states.
The magdiwang government of the Katipunan lost control of the the katagalugan when the magdalo faction took over through treachery.
The supposedly self-rule of the magdalo was continued by quezon who selected the members of the lower house of the legislature, but still the philippine assembly wasunder the control and guidance of the americans.
In 1913, so-called filipinos were granted free trade with the united states, and three years later, in the jones act, were permitted a limited autonomy.
A succession of american governors and filipino presidents established a continuing relationship but the steady sentiment for independence of the fallen magdiwang increased and persisted.
Tydings-McDuffie Act on 24 March 1934 came in time that provided for the recognition of philippine independence after a ten-year transitional period.
During these ten years, the americans would be allowed to “maintain military and other reservations and armed forces” in the islands, with the power “to call into the service of such armed forces all military forces organized by the philippine government.
The united states would abandon all military installations in the Islands after the transition, so it seemed.
The tydings-mcDuffie Act left open the question of naval reservations with the authorization that the americans can negotiate with the philippine government for american naval bases in the Islands.
Until then, the matter of naval reservations and fueling stations, the act provided, that the americans shall remain in its “present status.”
After the tydings-mcDuffie act, the magdalo adopted a liberal constitution based on the american model and established an interim government known as the commonwealth.
Quezon was chosen as president, and before the end of 1935 a national assembly met was organized to draft plans for local defense.
The archipelago lies approximately 500 miles off the Asiatic mainland and extends 1,150 miles almost due north and south from formosa to borneo, encompassing almost 7,100 known islands and islets, that formally excluded the islands of guam and palau which were owned by the americans.
The geographic heart of the far east is centrally located in relation to japan, china, burma, french Indochina, thailand, malaya, and the netherlands Indies, the hub of maritime trade and commerce in the world, and conscious of the fact that the said islands and seas could rich in oil and minerals.
Over 5,000 miles from Honolulu and 7,000 miles from San Francisco, Manila, the chief city and capital of the Islands, is only 1,800 miles from Tokyo.
Tagalog, the language of central Luzon, was chosen as the basis for a national language in 1937, in view of the already established propagation of the Katagalugan by bonifacio’s Magdiwang of Katipunan.
The far-ranging mountain areas are a source of gold and silver, and of the more important base metals, such as iron, chrome, manganese, copper, and lead, which made Luzon as the island of gold to the ancient native inhabitants.
Far-east islands are largely mountainous, with elevations as high as 10,000 feet, were extensive sand beaches are on every island are sand beaches that are very usable space for military maneuver.
Of the 704 miles of railroad on Luzon in 1941, about half were in the central plain, which, in addition, contained 250 miles of private railway lines. From the western sea, entrance to the central plain is through manila bay, one of the finest natural harbors in the far east.
With mariveles just inside the northern entrance, there is an excellent and easily reached anchorage to the headland of sangley point, where the cavite naval base was located, which makes manila as one of the finest ports in the bay.
In manila bay are few small islands, the largest and most important is corregidor two miles off bataan, and measures three and one half miles in length and one and one half miles at its widest point; and El Fraile, a rock about 200 by 100 yards; caballo and caraballo islets.
The natives of luzon di have military tradition upon based on brotherhood that was far different from the national armies from the west.
All they had were the “tagalog mandirigma” who were originally peacekeepers but were transformed by the invaders as trouble-makers for their own purpose.
Then, In the summer of 1935, Quezon induced his friend, general macArthur, the american chief of staff, to become the military adviser to his new government in its effort to organize a national army for the philippines, consented by then american resident roosevelt.
McArthur was authorized by Quezon to deal directly with the local secretary of war and the chief of staff and, “in all cases not specifically covered,” to use his own judgment. “Your mission must be accomplished-,” he was told, “ways and means are largely left to you.”
The general, in turn, chose eisenhower as one of his principal assistants. Eisenhower returned to his homeland and later on became the president of the united states.
Their plan was for filipinos between the ages of twenty-one and fifty to train for about month period and become a part of the reserve force.
The basic concepts which determined the nature and organization of the Commonwealth military establishment are perhaps best explained by macArthur himself, with an underlying principle that “no chancellory in the world … will ever willingly make an attempt to willfully attack the Philippines . . .
The american general and his assistants actually governed and ruled the whole archipelago under the pretense of a filipino president such as Quezon.
But such a possibility of another invasion had not been specifically denied when the japanese bombed pearl harbor and the island of luzon so easily that macarthur escaped to europe leaving the magdalo government with only a promise to return …
After years of devastation of luzon caused by the allied and axis war between them, when filipinos were starting to show defeat for the japanese, mcArthur returned.
Certainly, the philippine government of quezon did not anticipate that the united states would stand idly by if the security of the philippines was threatened, but it certainly did stand idly when the time really came.